Should I Crop My Dog’s Ears?

A great debate exists about whether or not the cropping of dogs’ ears should be allowed or not.  Where do you stand? Often times people put their dogs under this surgical procedure without fully considering what this may mean for their dog.  There are risks involved during the procedure of docking tails.  Before you make the decision for your dog, know the facts.

What is ear cropping?

Certain breeds of dogs such as Doberman Pinschers have their ears cut down with a blade or scissors to alter the appearance of their ears.  Doing so, changes the shape of the dog’s ears and some dogs will receive additional preparations after this surgery to encourage the ears to stand upright.  The dogs’ ears are taped or bandaged up for many weeks.  Even after this procedure, some dogs’ ears will still not stand up.  Cropping is ordinarily performed before the puppy reaches the age of 12 weeks.

Why do people crop their dogs’ ears?

There are a few reasons that people throw around as justification for cropping their dogs’ ears.  Some say that cropping dogs’ ears is a preventative measure used to eliminate the occurrence of ear infections.  While floppy eared dogs are more susceptible to infections of the ears, it is not uncommon for cropped or short eared dogs to suffer from ear infections as well.  Others assert that cropping dogs’ ears can prevent injury to the ears later on in life.  There is no evidence to support either of these arguments.  However, most people are interested in cropping solely for cosmetic reasons.

Are there risks involved?

Rama the Bouvier.

Rama the Bouvier.

If you want to get your dog’s ears cropped, you should know that there are risks involved.  Keep in mind that this is a surgical procedure.  Cropping requires that your dog be sedated using general anesthesia and just as with humans, general anesthesia always poses a risk to your dog.  Any surgical procedure comes with possible complications during and after surgery. You also must know that your dog will experience pain in the days and weeks following the surgery.  Cropping a dog’s ears requires after care and your dog will be susceptible to infection.  Are you ready for this? Cropping doesn’t work with every dog.  So you may be putting your dog through a painful experience for nothing. Not all procedures are successful.  Some dogs’ ears will just never stand up no matter who does the surgery or what after care they receive.

The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes cropping.  Their stance is that cropping is purely for looks.  There’s a debate worldwide.  In fact, it is completely unacceptable to crop in the United Kingdom.  What’s your stance?